Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Delicious Malunggay ideas

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Malunggay has been described as an understated health miracle in Philippine backyards. This precious green is so common, especially in the countryside, that it seems people find it hard to believe that it has any value at all. Also known as moringa oleifera, the plant is considered a panacea in many Asian countries, because of its rich nutritional and curative properties.

On the side of nutrition, it is open knowledge that green leafy vegetables are good for the body. This tiny leaf belies its great nutritional value. According to the website ph.theasianparent.com, malunggay boosts the milk supply of breastfeeding moms. It is also high in iron, and Vitamins A, B and C.

For its curative value, malunggay can be used to combat certain stomach ailments and malnutrition, and has also been found to help prevent diabetes and cancer. The modest plant has a lot to offer, indeed.

And the good nutrition in malunggay can be made to go down easily. The leaves and other parts of the malunggay plant can be turned into delicious dishes and drinks that even picky kids will love. The ph.theasianparent.com website shares the following delicious malunggay ideas.


Great as a healthy homemade gift, a quick dessert at home, or even a home business idea, malunggay polvoron is made by adding malunggay powder to your favorite polvoron recipe. You can include ½ to 1 tbsp of the powder to your flour mix, depending on your taste preference. Make your own malunggay powder, or purchase it from major supermarkets.


If you bake at home, you can make bread extra nutritious by adding ½ to 1 tbsp of malunggay powder for every 500g of flour used in a "pandesal" recipe. To make malunggay powder, hang freshly harvested malunggay upside down to dry. Catch the leaves as they fall off using any clean, dry container. Grind the dried leaves using a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle until they're in powdered form.


Instead of plain scrambled eggs, prepare a malunggay omelet for your family's breakfast. Roughly chop a handful of malunggay leaves and whisk them into the eggs before frying. You can also add tomatoes for extra flavor.

Clam soup with malunggay

Halaan or clam soup made with malunggay is one of the most popular Filipino "solutions" for moms who want to boost their milk supply. To make this simple soup, all you need to do is boil half a kilo of cleaned clams in 3 cups of water with a thumb of sliced ginger and 1 sliced whole onion. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add in as much malunggay as you wish, and cook for 1 more minute. Season and serve.


To make pesto at home, all you need to do is combine garlic, basil, pine nuts or cashews, and extra virgin olive oil in a blender. Then, throw in some malunggay leaves to infuse your pesto recipe with added vitamins and minerals.


Get off to a healthy start every morning with a cup of malunggay tea. To make your own tea leaves at home, you will need freshly harvested malunggay that has been cleaned. Lay them out on a clean sheet of paper for 2 to 3 days to dry. Once dried, remove the leaves from the stems. Shake out the leaves over a fine mesh sieve or sifter to get rid of extra stem pieces or other debris from the leaves. Carefully dry roast the leaves over low heat in a pan, turning them frequently to avoid burning. Store the tea in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Steep tea leaves in hot water for 1 to 3 minutes, then strain. You can also use a tea ball or a French press if you have these.

Green smoothie

Green smoothies typically contain spinach or kale, but you can also use malunggay to give your healthy drink an extra vitamin boost. Add sweet fruits like pineapples, bananas and oranges to your smoothie, and tweak the flavor to your liking.


Here's a way to get your kids to eat malunggay without a fuss - add it to their favorite burgers! Burger patties can be made with the leaves and meat from the pods of the malunggay. (The website www.breakfastmag.com explains the whole malunggay patty making process, and also contains other malunggay recipes that you can try, including ones for fettuccine and lumpia.)


If you prefer to bake with fresh malunggay, try making malunggay muffins. These baked goodies contain blended malunggay leaves, and are great as healthy snacks for kids and breastfeeding moms.

Malunggay Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller is a dish of oysters on a half-shell topped with butter, cheese and green herbs. Give a twist to the usual recipe by using malunggay in place of the traditional parsley. (FREEMAN)















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